Do You Have the Confidence Factor?
When I think about the qualities and actions that separate highly effective leaders from average ones, my mind is often drawn to the topic of self-confidence. Do you have a winning mindset? Are you self-motivated to constantly improve, not only for yourself but your team?
It may be more than a little challenging right now to think about your leadership skills while you are trying to juggle supporting your people to work as we continually adjust to the pandemic. But they are more important than ever before.
Why Confidence Is So Important
A leader’s ability to communicate, inspire, act decisively and pursue a strategic vision is made possible with a healthy sense of confidence.
It is also crucial to understand that arrogance is no substitute for confidence. Arrogance is almost always a disguise that is used to mask a distinct lack of confidence. It erodes trust, poisons communication, and completely alienates people. Arrogance is a performance, while confidence is a genuine expression of one’s authentic self.
So, how can you develop your confidence as a leader and boost your level of effectiveness without coming across as arrogant or boastful?
I have compiled some basic exercises and advice that can help you boost your confidence and assist in developing your overall leadership capability.
#1 — Learn to Trust Your Intuition
Your internal compass is one of the more valuable tools you have at your disposal. Whether you call it your intuition, instinct, or a gut feeling, it is powerful and usually does not mislead or guide you. I often ask leaders I work with what the impact has been when they did not listen to their gut and the feedback is astoundingly consistent – things faltered when they decided not to listen to their gut intuition and instincts.
Today’s leaders are overloaded by dealing with adjusting their workforces to the pandemic in addition to managing typical KPIs, analytics and insights, which provide value, but sometimes cause a disconnect from our “gut brain” and feelings. The nice thing about your intuition is that it is always analyzing the data in the background. It synthesizes all the input and helps you formulate the best possible decisions.
When you trust your gut and use it to make decisions, you perform at your best — and you grow your confidence considerably.
Here are some of the ways you can hone your ability to trust your gut:
- Clear your mind through meditation and mindfulness; notice the thoughts and emotions that crop up and use this practice to separate your internal truth from the noise.
- Pay attention to your feelings. Work on your ability to tap into the emotions as feelings that exist within your body. Understand how anger and other strong emotions make you feel. Learn how to tell when your intuition is being influenced by emotion, and you will be better able to trust your instincts.
#2 — Spend Time with Other Leaders
Leaders can fall into the trap of isolation quite easily with most of us working remotely since the pandemic began.
This is the time to network with other leaders, so you get the support you need to increase your confidence as well as have a sounding board. Sharing your successes and struggles with others who can relate is a positive action to take.
#3 — Help Those Around You Succeed
Leadership is not about you - it is about how you serve others. Use your leadership power to help others succeed. This will help you feel confident and accomplished when others shine brightly around you.
#4 — Play the Role of Confident Leader
You’ve heard the phrase, “fake it ‘til you make it,” right? Well, there is some sound psychology behind that advice. When you feel a lack of confidence, your body language and communication may suffer as a result. But you can reverse engineer a feeling of confidence by taking confident actions and here is how you can bring that to life. And now, more than ever, it is critical that you exude authentic confidence to those around you.
With time and focus, your confidence will start to grow and manifest quite naturally. Here are some quick tips that can help:
- Start the day with positive thoughts to set the tone and shift your mindset.
- Make eye contact with people when communicating, particularly in video meetings. This shows them you care.
- Keep your head up and smile. It generates positive energy which exudes confidence.
- Treat your body to exercise and rest. It's so important to give to yourself before giving to others!
Build Confidence Every Day
Leadership development rarely addresses the topic of confidence head on, but it should be moved to the top of the list as we can all use a boost during these unprecedented times.
I have only scratched the surface here with my confidence-boosting tips, so I’m curious about what you think. Have you tried some of the exercises and techniques I have outlined above? Have you developed your own methods for boosting confidence? What has or has not worked?
I am curious to know what you think, so please reach out and keep the confidence conversation going. Feel free to reach out to me at 855-871-3374 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!